Order Writing Best Practices for Field Sales Teams
Mobile order writing allows a field sales team to eliminate paper from their ordering process, reducing the number of people involved in getting orders filled, and increasing order accuracy. Rather than carting around catalogs and order forms, you can take a mobile device loaded with the mobile order writing app to manage the whole process from product selection to order placement.
Features and Benefits of Mobile Order Writing Applications
Among the features and benefits of mobile order writing applications are:
- Digital product catalog: Better than an online PDF catalog, a mobile product catalog enables field sales reps to work with customers to find the products they want and place orders right from the catalog.
- Customer list and notes: Field sales reps can gain access to customer data and enter orders directly through the customer list. This makes it easy to place orders quickly and easily while meeting with customers, in the office, or on the road.
- Past order history: Carrying around every customer’s past order history would be nearly impossible if you were doing it on paper. With a mobile order writing application, field sales reps can access every customer’s entire past order history to answer customer questions or to use as templates for future orders.
- Automatically updated ERP: Once the order is placed, field sales reps can skip having to return order forms to the back office for manual entry. The order writing platform automatically triggers order fulfillment and processing by syncing with back office systems, reducing human error.
These capabilities allow your field sales team to eliminate virtually all of the paper they once needed to sell products and place orders. However, eliminating paper is not the only benefit – mobile order writing software also gives your field sales reps the tools they need to sell more effectively and focus on strengthening customer relationships.
5 Mobile Order Writing Best Practices for Field Sales Teams
If you’re moving over from a paper-based order writing process, mobile order writing will significantly change how your field sales team does business. What are some of the best practices your team should follow to best harness mobile order writing technology?
1) Integrate sales order data with other enterprise data.
Once upon a time, data from each team within your organization sat in silos and was inaccessible to users outside a specific department. However, one of the biggest advantages to a field sales organization of using a mobile sales order application is to be able to have anytime, anywhere access to any information that they might need to support a sale. This means the sales order application should not be treated as a stand-alone solution, but rather integrated with other systems like your ERP to get the best results.
2) Use gamification to incentivize behavior.
As with most technology adoption, when your field sales team initially begins using a mobile sales order application instead of the paper process they used previously, there can be resistance to change. One way to help overcome this resistance is to make technology adoption both fun and rewarding. We’ve talked about gamification in the past. It can be an important tool to drive the kinds of behavior you want to see from customers and employees. After initial adoption, gamification can be used to reward field sales reps for steering customers toward specific products and add-on purchases, and can even incentivize specific improvements to the sales process.
3) Continue to educate your field sales team.
Once your field sales reps receive initial training on how to use the mobile order writing application, it’s important to continue providing education about how to use the application more efficiently to sell even better, and ways to improve the field sales team’s skills. Mobile devices are great for delivering on-demand training on diverse topics such as sales best practices and application user training.
4) Provide in-app access to sales enablement tools.
One of the biggest challenges that field sales teams face when they are on the road is having access to the sales tools they need to deliver the right message to the right customers. When these tools (like merchandising guidelines and marketing collateral) can be accessed from within the mobile order writing application, field sales teams will have the support they need to close more business, write more orders and increase order size from new and existing customers.
5) Provide offline access.
Being able to do business online is great, but for field sales reps who travel to customers in far-flung areas, it’s important to make sure that they aren’t limited to placing orders online. Applications that still work even when the internet goes down or when a wi-fi or cellular signal can’t be accessed are critically important to ensure your team can always place orders no matter where or when the customer requires.
What best practices does your field sales organization follow to get the most out of your order writing processes? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.